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Two N.Y.C. Detectives Fatally Shot

March 11, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Two police detectives on an undercover mission to buy illegal guns were shot and killed after backup officers lost track of them in the maze-like roads of a New York City neighborhood.

The slain detectives, who had been driving with two associates of a gun seller, were found Monday night lying on a Staten Island street, both shot in the head. They were the first New York City officers killed in the line of duty since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks.

``This kind of barbarism will not be tolerated in this city,″ Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Police officers in riot gear swarmed the crime scene, and police also shut down part of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn, and forced a Staten Island ferry to return to its dock so passengers could be checked.

The slain detectives, from the organized crime gun control bureau, had been working on the gun operation for about six months. Their identities were withheld in part because of the risk to other undercover officers.

The officers, who had been armed, apparently had not fired a shot.

A 19-year-old man identified as Omar Green was wanted for questioning, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Local media reports said two or three men had been arrested.

The two slain detectives were hoping to buy a Tech-9 submachine gun and had picked up two associates of a man who had previously sold one of the officers a gun. Their car was secretly being tailed by four undercover police cars.

When the detectives’ car stopped suddenly, the backup officers were forced to keep driving to avoid being detected. The backups lost sight of the car when it drove off again and lost radio contact with the detectives when they entered a hilly area, the commissioner said.

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